WHY I LIVE IN CENTRAL QUEENSLAND – Local family a cornerstone of sporting community

Julie Williamson has lived and worked in the Central Highlands for over 40 years. PHOTO: Ali Goddard

A LOCAL woman has lived in the Central Highlands for over 40 years and has immersed herself in community life ever since.
Julie Williamson has lived in Emerald since 1980, moving here at the age of 18 with a friend.
Mrs Williamson moved to Emerald from Blackall for a change of scenery, wanting a bigger area to explore while still holding the small-town values she knew.
Mrs Williamson said she came to Emerald in December of 1980 and has not looked back.
“I loved the area straight away,” she said.
“It had a lot more to offer me than Blackall did at the time.
“I met my husband and raised my two sons here.
“There are some great schools here, amazing sporting opportunities, the town is a good size and you have everything you need to raise a family here.”
Mrs Williamson said she has been married to her husband for 34 years, and in that time they have both worked in the Emerald community.
“I worked at ANZ bank in the 1980s and then was a stay-at-home mum for eight years before working at Centacare for 11 years, finishing in 2011,” she said.
“I then started working at the Emerald Neighbourhood Centre and Peter Maundrell and Co. as a bookkeeper.
“There hasn’t been too many challenges for me while I’ve lived here, aside from how expensive last-minute flights to Brisbane can be.”
’-type: imageimage:- ’/assets/julie-williamson-2.jpgMrs Williamson and her family have also been highly involved in the Emerald sporting community over the years.
“When I first came to Emerald, I played netball and basketball and my husband played rugby league,” she said.
“My sons also played Representative rugby league, rugby union, touch football and soccer, so there was a lot of travelling and friendships formed.
“The friendships we’ve made through sport have been wonderful as you get to meet a lot of other parents and families along the way.
“My husband Wayne and I are both lifetime members of the Emerald Tigers Rugby League Club as both of our boys played when they were younger.
“I was the Treasurer and in committees and my husband was a coach.
“We did that for 10 years.”
Mrs Williamson said they now travel in their caravan around Australia, going to places like St George, Birdsville, Glendora, and Charleville in recent years.
“My husband and I went to America in April of 2017 to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary,” she said.
Mrs Williamson said her favourite thing about the Central Highlands is the relaxed lifestyle.
“It’s not as big as a city here, so we all know each other throughout the town,” she said.
“The people here are a really friendly bunch.”
If you know anyone that would be a good feature in our Why I Live in the Central Highlands section, please contact our journalist Ali Goddard at journalist@newsleader.com.au.